Harrison Floyd, the only one of the 19 people charged in the sprawling Fulton County election probe to spend time in jail, has been given a $100,000 bond.
Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee signed the bond order Tuesday afternoon, five days after Floyd turned himself in to be arrested at the Fulton County Jail.
Chris Kachouroff, a Virginia-based attorney who filed paperwork Monday to represent Floyd in Georgia, said he was contacted Tuesday by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office to arrange the bond and claimed his client was only given bond because the prosecutor “didn’t like the optics” of Floyd remaining behind bars any longer.
“She was just letting him rot in there,” he said. “I told Harrison ‘this is ridiculous. She should have jumped in there and done the right thing.’”
Jeff DiSantis, Willis’ spokesman, strongly denied Kachouroff’s version of events.
“Mr. Floyd has had the opportunity to work out a consent bond in the same manner as the other defendants named in the indictment, but chose not to do so until today,” he said.
While all of the other defendants, including former President Donald Trump, turned themselves in to the jail with a prearranged bond, Floyd, the former leader of the group Black Voices for Trump, showed up Thursday without an attorney and was arrested and booked like any other criminal defendant.
Willis’ office provided the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with a recording of a phone call Willis made that same day to attorney Carlos J.R. Salvado, who is Floyd’s attorney in an unrelated criminal case in federal court in Maryland. In the call, she explained that she had sent a representative to meet with Floyd at the jail when he turned himself in. Willis told Salvado that Floyd was offered a consent bond at that time, but he refused it.
“He said he didn’t want to talk to anyone without a lawyer, so they ended the conversation and walked out of the jail. So, your client’s going be sitting in jail with no bond,” she said, according the recording reviewed by The AJC.
Floyd is charged with five felony counts involving the alleged harassment of county elections worker Ruby Freeman. He is accused of working with co-defendants Stephen Lee and Trevian Kutti to pressure Freeman into admitting - falsely - that she had taken part in fraud at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena where votes were being counted in 2020 election, according to the indictment.
In a hearing Friday, Judge Emily Richardson told Floyd he would have to wait to see McAfee, who is assigned to try the case, before being granted bond. In the interim, Richardson denied bond for Floyd, citing his arrest earlier this year in Maryland when he allegedly charged an FBI agent who had attempted to serve him with a grand jury subpoena in Trump’s federal election interference case in Washington, D.C.
Richardson said Floyd, a former Marine and martial arts instructor, was a flight risk and a risk to commit further crimes if released. In the hearing, Floyd disagreed and pointed out that he voluntarily turned himself in.
“I’m already on federal pre-trial supervision,” Floyd said. “I’ve had no issue with being on pre-trial supervision, there is no way I’m a flight risk, I showed up here before the president was here.”
In the recorded phone call with Floyd’s Maryland attorney, Willis said when Floyd turned up in Atlanta, he “made somewhat of a scene in the lobby of the jail and basically just begged to be booked in.” Lawyers for all of the other defendants came to her office to arrange bail prior to their clients going to the jail, she said.
“You know what? I feel bad about it, and I’m gonna tell you the reason I feel bad is there’s 19 defendants on this indictment and he is the only one held with no bond, and I think it’s because he’s a layperson and he doesn’t understand,” she said in the recorded call.
Salvado, who did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment, seemed to agree with Willis that Floyd’s lack of knowledge of the criminal justice system contributed to his predicament. In his initial court appearance Friday, Floyd represented himself and asked to be assigned a public defender because he could not afford the high costs associated with a complicated racketeering defense.
Since then, his fortunes apparently have changed and Floyd has become a something of a cause celebre in conservative circles. A donation site set up in his name reported that it had raised more than $275,000 by late Tuesday afternoon. The contributions ranged from $5 to $5,000. Conservative commentator and former Trump aide Steve Bannon took up Floyd’s cause on his show “The War Room.” Floyd’s supporters referred to him as a “political prisoner.”